A few years ago, Steve Wynn, the successful, Vegas casino operator, shared one of his most successful business secrets at a Tony Robbins business mastery event.
He began with a simple observation about people – anything that brings immediate gratification will be repeated. The most powerful human gratification is making someone feel good about themselves. As Wynn stated, “if you can make someone feel good about themselves they will love you for it, they will be loyal to you.”
Once he realized this principle, he wanted to apply it to his hotels and casinos. So a few years ago, he sent all 900 supervisors to get trained in England on storytelling. Why?
A bit of back story first.
All Wynn properties conduct something called the pre-shift meeting at the start of every shift, within each department. Just before the restaurant opens, the maitre d meets with the waiters and has a 10 minute session.
Similarly, the chef will have a pre-shift meeting with his cooking staff.
Housekeepers on each floor meet with their supervisors.
After the storytelling training in England, these huddles began with the supervisor asking for a story of something special that happened with a guest. At one of these huddles, a bell man shared the story of an older couple who had arrived from California.
As their luggage was being unloaded the bellman asked them to check and see if all the bags were there. The woman let yelled in surprise “Oh Mike, I forgot the medicine bag.”
She cried “Oh my God Mike your insulin! I left it on the front hall table when we got in the car! Oh my God! What are we gonna do? We have to go back! I’ll call the airport!”
Right then the bellman tells her “Just a minute ma’am. Where do you live?”
“Pacific Palisades, California”
“Is there anyone at your house?”
“Yes, our housekeeper, she’s there.”
“I have a brother that lives in Encino. I can give him a call, he can go over your house, and pick up the bag and we’ll manage to get it here for you. When do you need the medicine?”
It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon. She said by 7 a.m. He says, “Don’t you worry. If you can get that lady on the phone and tell her that Basilio Mendez is coming and to give him the medicine.”
She couldn’t believe it and said, “you can do that?”
“yes ma’am” Mendez assured her.
She calls and tells the housekeeper that Basilio is coming to get the medicine bag and to let him have it.
Mendez immediately sees his supervisor, explains to him the situation and jumps into a car. He drives five hours to his brother’s house, picks up the bag, turns around and gets back to Las Vegas. At the hotel, he hands it to the bellman on duty and tells him to make sure to get it to room so and so by 7 a.m.
Everyone in the pre-shift meeting says “wow that’s great Mendez!” The story is soon featured in the employee intranet. Mendez’ picture is posted in the back of the house. His story is all over the staff dining room, where everybody is reading about this bellman. Mendez is now a local hero and he feels great because of the recognition he gets from his peers.
Steve Wynn found the key to making a single employee’s interaction with a guest feel instantly gratifying and increasing his self-esteem. Now every employee in the hotel is looking for a story. Which in turn, is providing his guests with exceptional experiences!
You can bet that Wynn Casinos and Hotels has high repeat visits and customer loyalty. And one more thing – Wynn Hotels also has a loyalty program.
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